“Become What You Believe”

When I read Matthew 9:27-30 this morning, the lessons of the week came together in a beautiful way. Listen to the scripture.

As Jesus left the house, he was followed by two blind men crying out, “Mercy, Son of David! Mercy on us!” When Jesus got home, the blind men went in with him. Jesus said to them, “Do you really believe I can do this?” They said, “Why, yes, Master!”

He touched their eyes and said, “Become what you believe.” It happened. They saw. Then Jesus became very stern. “Don’t let a soul know how this happened.” But they were hardly out the door before they started blabbing it to everyone they met. (The Message)

Faith is much more than believing God can do anything. It is also about believing I can become who He made me to be. Often Jesus asked those coming for healing if they wished to be healed. Here, He asked the blind men if they believed He could do it. They not only said yes, they said, “Why, yes, Master!” That’s the equivalent of “Duh!” today. Of course He can heal. I think most everyone would believe that.

The more difficult question is whether or not I could move past my vision of me and embrace God’s. It’s not easy to let go of the negative voices that have shaped my view of myself or rid myself of the hands that hold me back, but the Holy Spirit has helped me believe that Christ not only came to heal; He came to heal me. The first step is for me to change my mind about who I am. That’s the metanoia about which John the Baptist speaks.

Before I can become who Christ knows I can be, I have to be ready to be whole. The blind men in Matthew 9 were ready to be whole, and they could not keep the wonderful news of their healing to themselves. I believe Christ asked them to be quiet about their healing because it was about something so much more than a parlor trick. It was a change that took place within them that allowed God’s healing to come through His beloved Son’s touch. Repentance and healing is very personal, and it isn’t something that comes easily; but when it does come, it causes those who are healed to want to tell everyone they meet about it.

Believing I am God’s beloved hasn’t been an easy process for me. I had to first see the me I believed myself to be and want more than that for myself. I had to want to be healed. Opening my heart to His desires allows me to see and believe I can become who He created me to be, and that is something worth shouting about!

When I Cease, God Brings Peace

Yesterday while I listened to Mylah sleeping, I noticed my headache was gone. I rarely have a headache, but this one had persisted for almost three days. My heart goes out to those who suffer from migraines; I can’t imagine. I had a simple sinus headache, and it was getting to me. I love it when I notice an annoying pain is gone. I’m sure it is never the exact moment when it stops, but it is a sweet moment that gives a new appreciation for being pain free. Again, I know many whose pain never ceases, and that humbles me and breaks my heart.

The dogs, Lilly, and Mylah were all asleep, and I soaked in the sleepy sounds that surrounded me. I was thanking God for the sweet girls that fill my heart as nothing else when I realized my head wasn’t hurting any more. I know the headache was not only my sinuses. The tension brought on by the fear and the tears earlier in the week started the twisting that left me wrung out and exhausted. The girls unwound me and allowed the tension to break. My nose began to run, but my head and heart relaxed for the first time in three days.

As I sat in the sweet stillness, I noticed my fear was also gone. That was icing on the cake, and I smiled at how God used all for my good. I thought about going home and resting rather than heading to church; but after a visit to the new house with the girls, I wanted to sing and pray and hear God’s message.  Between the girls and the worship, God changed my direction. My sinuses are still irritated, and I look as though I’ve been in a boxing match; but my mind and heart are at peace:)

The lessons this week were painful ones, literally and figuratively! I wasn’t surprised when the message last night was about repentance. Metanoia means “to change one’s mind, repent, from; a transformative change of heart.” That has been, is, and will continue to be the goal on this journey. Change is ongoing, and I pray that I will get more flexible as God transforms my mind and my heart to be more in line with His. The twisting is much less painful when I relax:)

The word for repent used at the end of the book of Job is a word that describes the sigh of release that someone who is being held gives when they stop fighting. When I cease, God brings peace. That is what repentance is all about, and it surely does transform my heart and change my mind in ways I cannot describe. Thanks be to God:)

A Changed Heart

Repentance turns my heart in God’s direction. Metanoia does the same for my mind and is the first step in letting God change my heart. Metanoia isn’t possible without God any more than a clean heart is. I have tried to find my way to the change God has in mind for me but have been frustrated by my inability to get where only He can take me. I shouldn’t be surprised that it took so long to come to a place of peace because I’ve taken the long way around my entire life.

When I took Lillyann home yesterday, Gina had given Matza and Cookie a bath and cleaned the house.  Matza is a short and very stocky English Bulldog, and Cookie is a long and very lean English Pointer. They are as different looking as any two dogs can be, but they are kindred spirits and best friends. I had to smile as I looked at the cute odd couple that fill their home with love and laughter and have won my heart as well. I told Gina how wonderful they and the house looked and laughed as I added for a few minutes anyway:)  Houses, children, and dogs get very dirty very quickly.  All require constant attention and cleaning. I know that about houses, children, and dogs but God reminded me today that the same principle applies to my heart and mind.

As Rita and I hiked in the downpour this morning, the sweet rain soaked me and cleansed beautifully. There is nothing that compares to rainwater for the skin and the hair, and mama told me that she and her sisters would collect it a large barrel to use for washing their hair. We decided to laugh and enjoy the shower, and it felt amazing. There is a sweet fragrance that follows the rain, and Rita noticed it as the sun came out and we were finishing our walk. A favorite song of mine compares that fragrance to the name of Jesus, and I couldn’t agree more.  His presence was obvious as we walked this morning. I felt Him in the sunshine, rain, and the sweet fragrance after the rain. His love cleanses and clears my heart to bring about the changes He desires.  Like the downpour this morning, there is sometimes no where to go and no place to hide. I’ve had that feeling this week as God has bid me to write. I’m glad I went with His flow, which has felt a lot like that downpour this morning.

God brought my heart into the open, and His living water washed like that cleansing rain. Both were just what I needed, just when I needed them.  I love that about Him:) The field cannot bear fruit without a little rain, and neither can my heart. I’m soaked, and it feels great!

This message What’s In Your Heart from last week touched my heart and was, like the rain, just what I needed, just when I needed it.  It helped me let God have His way with my heart this week, and I’m so very thankful I did. I pray it blesses you as much as it continues to bless me as I allow God to cleanse and change my heart as only He can.